I'm almost ready to take the plunge and move into the real hosting world.
I'm currently hosting for $15 per yr for 2 gig of transfer. Also paying extreme tracking $5 per month for invisible tracker. This is all working very well and we haven't outgrown it yet but I'm ready to move on. My current host doesn't offer cgi, php or much of anything.
I've read here about host recommendations and I think I'm moving to westhost. I don't know if I understand some options and ramafications of the move.
1 - The lowest level of service is where I will start. I expect I will get better web stats than extreme tracking and I will be able to give that up. They want an additional one time $10 to be able to get referrers. Does anyone know the detail of the stats they offer. Will it totally replace what extreme tracking offers?
2 - We already take credit cards in the store. I'm not clear on how I will set up credit cards. The packages come with miva merchant. The salesperson told me I'd have to use their templates. I'm not interested in doing that. I thought I'd just add a shopping cart to our pages. Apparently, it's not as simple as that and we need to get some kind of "gateway". Can someone explain what I need to do to add a shopping cart to our website. I don't need all the details, just an overview to make sure I'm on the right track. We're not setting up a shopping cart just yet.
3 - We are ready to start adding a form to the website. Would like to get credit card info through that. Does that need extra security? Or should we collect orders and have credit cards phoned in or faxed for now?
4 - Read on here about changing hosts and SE. Will the search engines find us again quickly? Is there anything I need to do? Is moving the site as easy as sending ftp? Do I have to wait days to change name servers?
Thanks again everyone for your help.